Experience London’s Best Markets

Visiting one of the many markets London has to offer is simply a must for visitors and Londoners alike. What can you possibly prefer to a Sunday of strolling around the stalls, shopping for exclusive handmade gifts and tasting food from all over the world? And the best thing is: if you’re there only for the weekend you can do four of London’s greatest markets in just one day.

Start with Columbia Road Flower Market. Get there early if you want to savour the atmosphere without being pushed too much, and later (around 2.30 PM) if you want to get the best prices for your plants. You will simply enjoy the yelling dealers and the air filled with scents of different kinds of flowers and plants, ranging from sweet basil to cala lilies and the locals bargaining for their roses. It’s almost impossible not to pick up a bunch of sunflowers or chrysanthemums and check out the cute little vintage shops and cafes apart from the market.

Making your way towards Brick Lane and you will find the best bagel shops that serve traditional salt beef bagels at the upper part of the street. Watch out though! You might want to share this one, because there is much more great food to try. Continue your way down Brick Lane and you will discover second hand clothes, furniture, kitchen equipment and anything else you could possibly think of. There are well known vintage shops like Rokit, cool sheesha lounges, a number of oriental cafes and Brick Lane’s famous Indian restaurants. Once you are past the over ground, you are welcomed by a variety of food stalls with delicacies from all over the world. Have you ever tried West African or Ethiopian food? – This is your chance! Also you should not miss the food hall on your way to Sunday UpMarket. Here you have the possibility to sit, relax and try one of their fluffy Malaysian pancakes.

Enter the covered Sunday UpMarket to find more international food and drinks. If you are already full, just check out the handmade jewellery, shop for cool designer t-shirts and browse the stalls with the colourful vintage jumpers. Our favourites were the purses made of eel skin for comparatively decent prices and the bags made of recycled can openers that are put together by Brazilian women. The fact that the revenues are invested in charity projects in Brazil, will coax you into buying.

Your final destination is Spitalfields Market showcasing stalls of arts and craft, clothes and jewellery, furniture and food. This market is simply perfect for gift shopping, as you can impress with clocks made of whiskey bottles, artfully designed shopping bags and eye-catching headpieces. This is also your chance to collapse in a cafe, observe the crowds and let the day’s impressions settle in…

By Anastasia Albert

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